2017 has been an upside-down year, so perhaps it’s no surprise that fashion experts have declared that ugly is the new fashionable. Platform crocs have flourished on runways, ground-dragging sleeves and garish colours have had their time in the sun, and overalls are, overall, still popular.
I must confess that I have a deep fondness in my heart for ugly clothes. In a prevailing fashion climate of beautiful, airbrushed perfection, the deliberately ugly is a statement of rebellion. Still, there are limits to how ugly you want your ugly fashion to be.
Some clothes, like the inexplicably popular UGG boot (named after the sound I make when I see that people are still wearing them) are just too much. So we rated the year’s weirdest clothing items; the good, the bad, and, yes, the ugly.
1. Going For Bust: On the one (creepy polyester) hand, I support the designer’s desire to add fun to fashion. On the other (equally creepy) hand, given the recent spate of sexual harassment allegations, I’m not sure that they really have their finger on the pulse of the times. Or, if they do, they’re definitely all thumbs at their delivery, and someone needs to give them a helping hand. 3/7 UGG Boots.
2. Wait A Minute, Mr. Postman: Yep, this Vivienne Westwood shirt is literally a postage envelope, and it literally has Westwood’s London address on it. So, if you stuck a stamp on it, could you use it to mail them a strongly worded letter asking “Why, God, why?” 2/7 UGG Boots, and I’m not even addressing how much my eyes rolled back in my head at the words “Intellectuals Unite!”
3. Get Your Head In The Game (of Thrones): This Black Milk jersey isn’t even bad, it just brings up a lot of questions. Like, “has this product escaped from an alternate universe where Game of Thrones is actually a High School Musical knockoff?” and “in this hypothetical universe, am I still forced to see 3000 Buzzfeed articles a day about “exciting” new show fan theories?” 3/7 UGG Boots.
4. Wardrobe Malfunction: 2017 has blessed my ugly-denim-loving soul with some truly ugly jeans, but this is a bridge too far. What’s the worst thing about it: the deliberate attempt at looking like your low-rise pants have failed you at the worst possible moment, the ugly side zips, or the pocketless back? 2/7 UGG Boots.
5. Very Punny: This is more like it! When I hear “ugly denim”, I want it to be stupid, impractical, probably uncomfortable, and look like you did it with nail scissors while drunk and this lovely Topshop jacket hit all of those markers! 7/7 Ugg Boots, because they actually call this stupid monstrosity “the cold shoulder jacket.”
6. Seems Fishy: I guess since so many people are excited to see the R-rated scenes from Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming Fishman movie, Gucci took the initiative and created an outfit that would allow you to look like the sexy Fishman in real life? 5/7 UGG Boots to Gucci, for knowing what their customers want and need.
7. Sweat It Out: Combining garters with sweatpants to create something that’s neither cozy nor sexy is such an unbelievable power move. This astounding piece is part of Rihanna’s collection for Puma and, yes, the whole collection is pretty much like this. 5/7 UGG Boots, because I don’t like them, but I can’t help but respect them.
8. MINions more like SINions: “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given the power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.” (Revelations, 13:5). 666/7 UGG Boots.
9. Thigh-High: Fishnet tights? I guess, fine. Fishnet boots? Ugh, sure, I guess they have to exist somewhere. Fishnet boots with weird protuberances that make you look like some kind of polygonal glitch in the Matrix? … You know what, nothing else that’s happened in this awful year makes sense, why? 3/7 UGG Boots.
10. I, Robot: Do you want to look like a cyborg with detachable legs and a debatable comprehension of human culture? These T-Project convertible pants (shorts? shorts/pants? shants?) are probably the best way to do that. Bonus: some truly out-of-this-world tan lines! 3/7 UGG Boots
11. Haunting: Best case scenario if you decide to wear this: it doesn’t do anything, and you just get a bunch of gross comments from creepy dudes about “touching your Ouija board” and “communing with your spirits.” Worst case scenario: it actually works, and you’re forced to have the world’s most awkward exorcism. 4/7 Ugg Boots.
12. Hmm: This piece is listed as a “biker jacket,” despite the fact that wearing it would probably get you beat up by any actual bikers, or at least any bikers with an investment in fashion. It’s not … the worst thing on this list, but I have to deduct points for the fact that its bright stripes brought me unwanted memories of 7th grade P.E. classes. 4/7 UGG Boots.
13. Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire: Remarkably, these are not the only fire-adorned jeans that ASOS is selling; their “Raggedy Priest” pants feature flames sprouting from the ripped knees, for a cool £ 90. Both sets of pants bear an uncanny semblance to the tacky retro-chic of Guy Fieri’s button-downs. But I guess, in this political climate, flaming pants are in. 5/7 UGG boots
14. 4:20, it is: On the one hand, this “Yoda Stoner Sweater” is a definite violation of copyright, Fair Use laws, George Lucas’ creative vision for the original Star Wars trilogy, and my childhood memories. On the other hand, Yoda did spend a lot of time surrounded by “mist,” encouraging Luke to chill out and tune into the cosmic energies surrounding the universe, so I guess it’s not …. entirely wrong? 4/7 UGG Boots.
15. No! No! No!: Listen, I know that the women’s fashion industry is in love with thin, crappy shirts that do nothing to conceal one’s underclothes, but usually, there’s some plausible deniability. With this shirt, the message is loud and clear: “We’re gonna force you to buy 7 different translucent shirts so that you can put together a reasonably modest outfit. We see your suffering, and we enjoy it.” 2/7 UGG Boots.
16. Take Me To Your Leader: This unbelievably incredible shirt looks like the kind of thing you’d wear to wander around spooky fields in the dead of night while banging pots and pans together and shouting “GEE, I SURE HOPE THAT ATTRACTIVE ALIENS DON’T COME to ABDUCT ME.” 6/7 UGG Boots.
17. Nerd Is The Word: Listen, I know it’s cool to be a nerd right now and that, after a lifetime of social martyrdom, nerds are excited about their time in the spotlight. But every time I see one of these shirts or one of the ghastly I (anatomical) Heart Nerds tees, I am filled with the overwhelming, all-consuming need to shove someone into a locker. 2/7 Ugg Boots.
18. Wait, what?: The ridiculous straps, the unflattering cut, the is-it-jeans-or-is-it-a-jumpsuit-please-god-help-me-I’m-so-confused cut, the weird flaps at the armpits, the attempt at a cleavage window with the unzipped top of the pants? Incredible. 4/7 UGG Boots.
20. Naked Truth: Internet clothing company Beloved has the temerity, the absolute unmitigated gall, to call this monstrosity a “sexy” bodysuit. Oh well, it could be worse. It could be even more … ahem … anatomically accurate. 1/7 UGG Boots, because I don’t want to encourage them.
21. Oh Honey, No: Sure, your outfit may be bad, but is it actually a hate crime? Earlier this year, Zara put out this snazzy denim piece, having somehow failed to notice that the cartoon critters on the front look unmistakably like the internet hate symbol Pepe the Frog. It was pulled shortly after, for obvious reasons. -3/7 Ugg Boots.
22. Police Don’t Touch Me: Listen, I hate everything about these leggings, from the ridiculous print to the crappy elastic waist, but what kind of a power move is it to roll up to the club wearing sexy leggings that literally say “don’t touch me?” 2/7 Ugg Boots.
23. Fashion Nightmare … And some clothing literally asks questions of the viewer. Designer Raf Simons described this snazzy shirt, part of his 2017 runway collection, as having a “politically-charged undertone.” 5/7 UGG Boots, for being great but depressing.
24. Let’s Be Frank: This is it. This is the ugly denim which all other ugly denim flows from, the ugly denim which has no beginning and end, which was created with the universe and will not die unless the last star has winked out. ∞ / 7 UGG Boots.
24.T-shirt disaster…Every time I see one of these shirts or one of the ghastly I (anatomical) tees, I am filled with the overwhelming, all-consuming need to shove someone into a locker. 2/7 Ugg Boots.